U.S. Tops 5 Million Cases; Kudlow Sees Progress: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

The U.S. passed 5 million Covid-19 infections on Sunday after adding 1 million new cases in just over two weeks. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow argued the U.S. is making inroads against the spread of Covid-19. Florida’s cases and deaths slowed.

The European Commission is hopeful a vaccine will be available by early next year, allowing a gradual return to normality, Handelsblatt reported.

Italy’s government reaffirmed its plan to reopen schools next month. That message was echoed by the cabinet in the U.K. even as it again reported more than 1,000 new cases a day. Paris will mandate outdoor mask wearing on its busiest streets from Monday to limit a resurgence in cases.

Key Developments

Global Tracker: Global cases top 19.6 million; deaths pass 727,000Struggling Economy Gets Only Limited Help From Trump ActionsU.S. crosses milestone of 5 million infectionsPandemic Creates Doubt Over Long-Term Demand for MetalsPandemic puts millions of Europeans on path to a debt crisisTrack the race for vaccines that might end the coronavirus pandemic

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Kudlow Sees Progress Against Virus (10:20 a.m. NY)

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested the U.S. is making inroads against the spread of Covid-19.

“Having gone through a very tough period as the virus spread to the South and West, it looks like we’re making pretty good progress,” Kudlow said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “Am I worried in general? Yes, I’m always worried in general. Things have happened here that no one expected to happen — exponentially.”

At the same time, the Washington Post reported that an internal model by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers is projecting a rise in infections later in August and into September and October in the Midwest and elsewhere. Kudlow said he has “not heard anything about” that analysis.

U.S. Passes 5 Million Cases (10 a.m. NY)

Covid-19 cases in the U.S. crossed 5 million, adding a million cases in just over two weeks, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation with the worst coronavirus outbreak hit 4 million cases on July 23, amid a skyrocketing outbreak in the Sunbelt and political battles over the Trump administration’s handling of the virus response.

The daily numbers are down from recent peaks, with 56,070 cases reported Saturday, a 1.1% increase over the previous day. Total deaths are 162,441, the data show.

European Commissioner Upbeat on Vaccine (9:35 a.m. NY)

There are “good signs” that a first vaccine against Covid-19 could be available in about six months, meaning it would be ready in late 2020 or early 2021, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides told Handelsblatt in an interview. While a vaccine won’t immediately solve all the problems, it will allow a step-by-step return to normality, the newspaper cited Kyriakides as saying.

U.K. Sees School Reopening as Key for Economy (7:46 a.m. NY)

Fully reopening schools in September is important for the U.K.’s economic recovery as it will allow parents to return to work, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said in an interview on Times Radio. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Mail on Sunday newspaper the country has a “moral duty” to resume normal teaching and reopening is now a “national priority.”

Hong Kong Care Home to Be Evacuated: RTHK (7:24 a.m. NY)

A care home for the elderly in Hong Kong will be evacuated after two more people were diagnosed with Covid-19 and another tested preliminarily positive, RTHK reported, citing health officials. More than 40 residents and staff at the home at Kowloon Bay will be quarantined. Hong Kong reported 72 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday.

Vietnam Reports 29 New Infections (07:14 a.m. NY)

Vietnam confirmed 29 new infections and one death, according to the health ministry.The nation has reported 384 local infections since the outbreak in the coastal city of Danang July 25. It now has a total of 841 cases with 11 deaths.

Italy Plans to Open Schools in September (06:15 NY)

Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed in an interview with Corriere della Sera the government’s plan to open all schools on Sept. 14.

Another lockdown would do an “enormous damage, and we need to avoid it more than anything,” Speranza said in the interview.

Iran’s New Cases Fall to Lowest in Two Months (6:06 a.m. NY)

In Iran, the number of new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours fell to a two-month low of 2,020, bringing total infections to 326,712. The death toll climbed to 18,427 with 163 more fatalities overnight, up from 132 the day before.

The figures come at the end of a long weekend and public holiday in the country during which many Iranians traveled across provinces, in what could cause a surge in infections in the coming weeks.

Belgium Restricts Beach Visits; Infections Slow (5:21 p.m. HK)

Belgium’s authorities said on Sunday that 617 more people have been infected with coronavirus in the past 24 hours, versus 768 the day before. Four more deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 9,870.

Several coastal towns banned one-day visitors on Sunday after scorching heat drove scores of Belgians to the beaches the day before.

Germany’s Cases Dip to Week-Low; R-Value Up (4:43 p.m. HK)

The number of new cases in Germany was at the lowest in a week at 707. At the same time, the reproduction factor — or R value –, a lagging indicator, rose to 1.32 on Saturday, the highest in three weeks, meaning 100 infected people are estimated to spread the disease to about 132 others. Local authorities may again turn stricter following local outbreaks among harvest workers, at a canning company, and among returning travelers near the end of the summer break.

France Counts Impact on Tourism Sector (4:36 p.m. HK)

The immediate impact of the epidemic on French tourism will be at least 30 billion euros to 40 billion euros, Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said in the Journal du Dimanche. In normal times, the sector generates 180 billion euros in revenue, a third from international guests.

Infections Increase Across Eastern Europe (4:00 p.m. HK)

Ukraine reported 1,199 new cases Sunday with 18 deaths, after a spike to 1,489 new registered infections Saturday, the highest daily number since the pandemic hit the country in March. Neighboring Hungary, which has depicted itself as a relatively safer zone, reported 43 new cases Sunday, the highest since May.

France Mandates Mask on Busy Paris Streets (3:23 p.m. HK)

Masks will be mandatory outdoors from Monday on the busiest streets of Paris, including the most tourist-heavy areas, according to local authorities.

The spread of the virus accelerated last week in France, infecting increasingly younger people. Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said the government started a program to distribute free masks to those in need and without resources.

The scientific council advising the government said wearing masks outdoors will eventually become the norm and called on the 20 biggest cities to prepare for a potential new wave of confinements.

Fire at India Virus Facility Kills Nine (12:29 p.m. HK)

At least nine people died in a fire that broke out at a coronavirus facility in the city of Vijayawada in India’s Andhra Pradesh state on Sunday, the Indian Express reported, citing police.

The blaze was sparked by an air-conditioner unit that short-circuited on the ground floor of the Swarna Palace Hotel, according to the report. The hotel is leased by a private hospital to house Covid-19 patients.

The nation recored a single-day spike of 64,399 cases, bringing the case load over 2.1 million on Sunday, Health Ministry said, according to PTI.

Australia’s Victoria Records 394 New Cases (10:38 a.m. HK)

The number of new cases climbed by 394, taking the state total to 14,659, Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing in Melbourne on Sunday.

China Reports 23 New Cases, No Deaths (9:51 a.m. HK)

Chinese health authority said it received reports of 23 new confirmed cases on the mainland Saturday, including 15 that were locally transmitted, Xinhua news agency reported.

All local cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said, according to the news agency. No deaths related to the disease were reported Saturday, the commission said.

Only 30% of U.K. Would Definitely Take Vaccine (8:26 a.m. HK)

The U.K. will need more than just a simple communication campaign to ensure people get a potential coronavirus vaccine after research showed that less than a third of the population would definitely seek to be inoculated.

A survey by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori released Sunday showed British people who are skeptical about science and authority were more likely to say they’d refuse a vaccine. While 43% said they’d be very likely or fairly likely to get a vaccine, if one becomes available, 16% said they are unlikely to or definitely won’t and 11% didn’t know.

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